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Coming To A Theater Near You: California’s “Green Chemistry” Nightmare

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I should be the last guy complaining.  My law partner Liz McNulty and I will spend many a billable hour over the next decade or two advising companies on what to do with the avalanche of regulations about to descend on them courtesy of California’s Department of Toxic Substances. Their “green revolution” nightmare is about to begin, and the only folks who will benefit from it are employed by the government, environmental activists, or lawyers advising the private sector on what to do.

Here’s a pretty good summary of the situation from one of California’s better political reporters, Dan Morain. What is the Golden State about to do? Decree, says Morain, “that manufacturers of consumer products find alternatives to ingredients that are linked to cancer, are reproductive toxins or otherwise despoil the planet.”

Here’s another backgrounder, done in Q-and-A style. And here is the 2008 report from Arnold that launched the nightmare.

Among those pushing for “green chemistry” regulations across the U.S. are the alarmists who see cancer risk everywhere.  Here is an example of the most strident of the alarmists –from the Huffington Post of course.

Here’s an example of one industry –automobile manufacturing– trying very hard to get out from under the looming avalanche.

My question, which is always my question: What will it all cost in terms of jobs and forfeited economic growth?  How can a state on the edge of rolling bankruptcy –don’t believe Jerry Brown’s rosy forecasts– decide this is the time to layer thousands and thousands of lines of regulations on the private sector?



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